Swiss prosecutor & Judges Exclude Inconvenient Evidence
Inspector Fabien Fontannaz : Evidence Tampering
Fontannaz concealed and attempted to destroy the suicide note of my my depressed friend, after I found his body and alerted the police. This evidence was in the form of an SMS message sent to me by the deceased hours before his death.
It's important to note, Fabien Fontannaz is not a uniformed policeman (in Switzerland those are called "Police Cantonal") but an agent of the highly specialized "Judicial Police" who are tasked with investigating serious crime. To draw a parallel, in the US there is the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and also an agency in each state eg California Bureau of Investigation. Switzerland doesn't have states, it has "Cantons" however Special Agent Fabien Fontannaz holds a position roughly equivalent to an agent in the California Bureau of Investigation (ie state level) in the Canton of Valais. He is supposed to be a serious investigator and he ran point on my murder case.
In the email to the right, he tells my lawyer that he intends to destroy the belongings of the deceased, including his mobile phone which contains the original suicide SMS message. This is several hours before he returns my equipment to my lawyer at 15:30 that same day.
Incredibly, my lawyer Maitre Philippe Loretan does not object to the destruction of evidence, specifically the suicide note, in an ongoing murder investigation.
All the more incredible, in a meeting the day before with Philippe Loretan, I alerted him to the fact that Inspector Fabien Fontannaz attempted to delete that message; Loretan stated that message was "critical evidence" and he would retrieve it.
Yet, the next day, he doesn't bat an eyelid when the police say the original copy is being destroyed.
District Attorney Frederic Gisler : Ignored Suicide Note
After Fontannaz attempted to delete the suicide SMS message from my mobile telephone, I locked it and quickly put it in my pocket. This was possible as we were sitting facing one another at my kitchen table. I immediately demanded to see the prosecutor; I knew to do this, because my partner and I socialized with several district attorneys and even attended the 40th birthday party of DA Catherine Seppey.
When DA Frederic Gisler arrived, he showed no interest in my protests that there was a suicide note.
Surely a serious district attorney would ask a suspect a few questions when arriving on the scene, especially since I was the one who demanded he come to speak with me? No, he spoke to me in a rather condescending tone, said I was under arrest, and walked off into my house to talk to the other police there.
Here is a copy of the "suicide note" from the police file. The police and prosecutor repeatedly refused to say they had it, until I fired my lawyer Philippe Loretan and hired an Amnesty International lawyer Pierre Bayenet late September 2015.
Maitre Philippe Loretan : Collusion with Prosecutor
My first three lawyers refused to act despite my instruction to file a complaint for police brutality, and human rights abuse. Bear in mind at this stage I was suffering PTSD and rational thought was impossible. In desperation, I took the most famous lawyer in the Canton of Valais available: Maitre Philippe Loretan, who was also the spokesman for the Chief of Police in Valais, a Mr Christian Varone.
At our first meeting on 21 May 2015 I explained to Philippe Loretan that the police concealed the suicide note of my deceased friend and attempted to delete it from my mobile telephone right in front of me. He called that suicide note "critical evidence" and assured me he would take steps to confirm that it was entered into the murder file. Philippe Loretan was lying and attempting to deceive me: he did NOT enquire about that so-called "critical evidence" until 16 June, a staggering 26 days later, after I reminded him four times. Remember, I was still charged with first degree murder.
On 22 May some of my seized equipment was returned, and it was around this time I discovered that my mobile telephone had been returned non-functional.
This meant that I no longer had a copy of the suicide note - which my friend Oscar had sent me via SMS - so on 26 May 2015 I instructed Philippe Loretan to urgently take whatever steps were necessary to retrieve it.
Not only did Philippe Loretan fail to act, despite repeated reminders, he also falsely told me that he could not recover a copy from the telephone company: he stated that only the police could do that, which was a lie. This had two implications firstly that the ten days I had to report damaged property expired, so the police could not be held liable for the damage to my equipment; and secondly a critical piece of evidence was being allowed to slip through the cracks and disappear.
Why would the prosecutor Frederic Gisler want that? His use of enhanced interrogation techniques on me, threats of violence and waterboarding, highly invasive medical procedures performed under duress: that would be hard to justify in the presence of a suicide note and my alibi.
For several months Philippe Loretan refused to act, then in late August pretended I could still claim for my damaged phone. That shows bad faith; he absolutely knew the ten days I had by law to report the damage expired months earlier. It was an act, to deceive me into thinking he was doing his job while in actual fact he was sabotaging my case.
Valais Cantonal Court: Excluded Admissible Evidence
In late 2016 the Valais Cantonal Court called me a liar, said the phone probably broke "much later than May 2015, because I only reported it broken in my damages claim of November 2015" and threw out my email evidence showing I reported the damaged phone to my lawyer Philippe Loretan on 26 May 2015 (next business day after I received my equipment back) and then repeatedly instructed him to recover the SMS. The Cantonal Court said every piece of evidence I provided was a "forgery" and threw it out.
The court's actions are very interesting because those emails were sent via an online email account hosted by Microsoft Corporation , and those messages could not possibly have been forged by myself; I do not have administrative privileges to Microsoft servers. Unless of course Swiss courts wish to imply that Microsoft are in the business of committing fraud and falsifying documents.
It looks a lot to me like conspiracy, because the actions of the court seem to protect my previous lawyer. By ruling those emails "forgeries" it shields him from allegations of malpractice. It also begs the question of why the court didn't ask my lawyer about those emails? In another Swiss case I was asked to waive legal privilege; I could have done so again. The court wanted to obfuscate; they are not interested in finding the truth.
Quite the contrary, the Valais Cantonal Court is most concerned with concealing the truth.
Now, throwing out concrete evidence proving I reported my phone damaged, then calling me a liar and saying I broke the phone myself much later, sounds like conspiracy to me. It's also obstruction of justice, and when obstruction of justice occurs through conspiracy, that is "Perversion of the course of justice"
This is tantamount to human rights abuse, because the judiciary of a state is colluding against my right to a fair trial.
Why Would Anyone Do This?
I maintain that the Swiss judiciary conspired to conceal that suicide note, because they realized no competent investigator would use enhanced interrogation on a suspect who:
- Actually called the police themselves to report a suicide
- Showed them a suicide note where the deceased talks of trying to hang themselves and having taken an overdose of prescription medication
- Has an alibi placing them at home 10km away at the time of death
- Has a second alibi placing them at home 10km away awaiting and signing for an important business related delivery
- Wrote to the deceased's social worker weeks prior to his death, saying deceased was entering medication induced psychosis and urgently needed help
- The deceased has a history of mental illness for the past ten years
- The deceased had made several suicide attempts in the past
My hypothesis is that Fontannaz and Gisler concealed the suicide note as a pretext to arrest me and put me through torture, in order to extract a confession of some sort.
They were utterly convinced they would find something to pin on me, they tore my house apart looking for drugs; they gave me every drug test available: urine, blood, and hair follicle samples were taken, as well as DNA swab and incredibly swab samples from my penis: all under duress (threat of violence and specifically waterboarding) in a room full of people at the police station -- when Martigny Hospital was 100 metres away and indeed after roughing me up and taking naked photos in the police station, they took me to Martigny Hospital for the blood samples.
Having done all of the above, the suicide note had to be concealed and destroyed.
Fontannaz said he was destroying the deceased's mobile phone on 22 May
Gisler returned my mobile phone broken 22 May and never replied to my request asking him to confirm he had entered the SMS into evidence
Loretan refused to push Gisler for the suicide note, and refused to get a copy from the phone company
Phone company only keeps copies of text messages (SMS) for 6 months; I had until 28 October to retrieve a copy.
In September I took an Amnesty lawyer, and the following week on 23 September the police finally released their report, which contained the suicide SMS message. I suggest they did that when they realised my Amnesty lawyer would get a copy of the SMS message.
Why did that report take so long when they returned my equipment on 22 May and on that day DA Frederic Gisler said it was all a big mistake and he would close the file immediately? I suggest Gisler was dragging out the case until the phone company purged that critical evidence.
The Swiss judiciary put me through hell, tore my life apart, rather than admit a simple mistake, apologise for what they did, and pay proper compensation.